Reading Philosophical Texts The assignments in your course require you to engage in a close reading of significant texts written by the major philosophers of the Western tradition. Since you may have had little experience in dealing with material of this sort, the prospect may be a little daunting at first. Philosophical prose is carefully crafted to achieve its own purposes, and reading it well requires a similar degree of care. Here are a few suggestions:
This story has many variants, religious and secular, scientific, economic and mystic.
It is the story of human centrality, of a species destined to be lord of all it surveys, unconfined by the limits that apply to other, lesser creatures. What makes this story so dangerous is that, for the most part, we have forgotten that it is a story.
Humans have always lived by stories, and those with skill in telling them have been treated with respect and, often, a certain wariness. With stories, with art, with symbols and layers of meaning, we stalk those elusive aspects of reality that go undreamed of in our philosophy.
The storyteller weaves the mysterious into the fabric of life, lacing it with the comic, the tragic, the obscene, making safe paths through dangerous territory.
Yet as the myth of civilisation deepened its grip on our thinking, borrowing the guise of science and reason, we began to deny the role of stories, to dismiss their power as something primitive, childish, outgrown. Religion, that bag of myths and mysteries, birthplace of the theatre, was straightened out into a framework of universal laws and moral account-keeping.
The dream visions of the Middle Ages became the nonsense stories of Victorian childhood. In the age of the novel, stories were no longer the way to approach the deep truths of the world, so much as a way to pass time on a train journey.
It is hard, today, to imagine that the word of a poet was once feared by a king. Yet for all this, our world is still shaped by stories. Through television, film, novels and video games, we may be more thoroughly bombarded with narrative material than any people that ever lived.
What is peculiar, however, is the carelessness with which these stories are channelled at us — as entertainment, a distraction from daily life, something to hold our attention to the other side of the ad break.
There is little sense that these things make up the equipment by which we navigate reality. On the other hand, there are the serious stories told by economists, politicians, geneticists and corporate leaders.
These are not presented as stories at all, but as direct accounts of how the world is. Choose between competing versions, then fight with those who chose differently.
The ensuing conflicts play out on early morning radio, in afternoon debates and late night television pundit wars. And yet, for all the noise, what is striking is how much the opposing sides agree on: So we find ourselves, our ways of telling unbalanced, trapped inside a runaway narrative, headed for the worst kind of encounter with reality.
In such a moment, writers, artists, poets and storytellers of all kinds have a critical role to play. Creativity remains the most uncontrollable of human forces: Words and images can change minds, hearts, even the course of history.
Their makers shape the stories people carry through their lives, unearth old ones and breathe them back to life, add new twists, point to unexpected endings. It is time to pick up the threads and make the stories new, as they must always be made new, starting from where we are.
Mainstream art in the West has long been about shock; about busting taboos, about Getting Noticed. This has gone on for so long that it has become common to assert that in these ironic, exhausted, post-everything times, there are no taboos left to bust.
But there is one. The last taboo is the myth of civilisation. It is built upon the stories we have constructed about our genius, our indestructibility, our manifest destiny as a chosen species.Our cheap essay writing service UK is designed to be the best innovative solution to students’ academic problems.
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Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to prevent plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback. If the paper represents a group, organization, committee, do not write in the first person (not I, my, mine, etc.
but rather we, our, etc.) Limit yourself to two pages following the format established by previous successful position papers. The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
The Elements of Style: William Strunk, Jr. Asserting that one must first know the rules to break them, this classic reference book is a must-have for any student and conscientious writer. The Manifesto This is where it all began.
A self-published pamphlet, born out of two years of conversations, crowdfunded over the internet, launched at a .